Thursday, February 5, 2009

Western Premiers Push Positive Trade Message to U.S. Audiences

(Canadian Press)

Prairie premiers were pushing a positive message of the benefits of cross-border trade to audiences in Texas.

Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall, Alberta’s Ed Stelmach and Manitoba Premier Gary Doer were in Texas on Wednesday, the second day of a trade mission to the U.S.

The trip coincided with a debate in Washington about two ``Buy American’’ provisions tacked on to the U.S. economic stimulus package.

President Barack Obama’s bid on Tuesday to soften the protectionist language economic stimulus package appears to have worked.

Late Wednesday, the U.S. Senate included a requirement in the stimulus package that international trade agreements must not be violated as a result of the “Buy American’’ provision.

The Prairie premiers, along with the Harper government, had raised the alarm about such measures.

Doer said Obama’s comments were helpful.

“Protectionist measures are just not the way to go,’’ Doer said Wednesday from Houston.

Wall said he’ll keep pushing trade as beneficial for both countries until it’s clear that the protectionism measures are going to be dropped. Read more here.